November 22, 2014 Subject:
end of chapter 10
At the time of its first publication (1898) in serial form the end of chapter 10 caused a bit of a scandal. Rose Esther is portrayed as an alumna of the famous teacher training school in Fontenay, headed by Félix Pécaut whose lectures were greatly admired at the time by liberals and republicans. Rose sweeps the floor with "ce sirop de religion laïque" taught by Pécaut, and, as if to break even more radically with the high standards of this lay morality, offers herself sexually ("Prends-moi") to Elzéar Bayonne, a politician who happens to be a relative. Many of the former girls of Fontenay were up in arms about this scene and for a while a minor battle was fought over this in several French newspapers and periodicals. For more details, see: Patrick Cabanel, Le Dieu de la République, Aux sources protestantes de la laïcité, 2003 Presses Universitaires de Rennes, pp. 167-168.
I was surprised to find the book here on Internet Archive - a forgotten book really, but it shows that 'forgotten' books deserve to be kept alive, something Internet Archive does really well.